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I recently needed to send some money an old school chum that was in a financial bind. I investigated Western Union to see if it was as bad as I remembered. The fees were outrageous. And the time lag was horrible, unless I was willing to pay something like a $60 wire fee. I don't know why anyone would use them.

I never had to pay that high a fee for sending money by Western Union. The problem I had with sending money any other way was that my friend was frequently homeless, or living in a condemned abandoned building, and therefore had no legal address, and no bank account, and no credit card. And any ID gets stolen, so how do you send her money for the $50 or whatever it is these days for a new photo-id for someone who does not drive so does not even have a license.

Here is a recent transfer. I probably used Master Card. If I used Visa, they would have added $25 and started charging the interest immediately.

Payment
Credit card ending in ...
Delivery
Cash at WU agent location
Money available: In minutes
Summary
Transfer amount
30.00 USD
Transfer fee
+ 6.50 USD
Total
36.50 USD
Total to receiver
30.00 USD

Perhaps Western Union would charge more if it were outside the country. In the above case, it was in another state.
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